Terrifying Soldiers Look Like Comic Book Villains

Terrifying Soldiers Look Like Comic Book Villains
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Ballistic facemasks aren’t new. We’ve seen them in movies, comic books, video games like Army of Two. And we’ve seen them in real life, where they are utterly intimidating.

Recently, website site DDN Japan and Tumblr site You’re Not Bulletproof pointed to these photos of Taiwanese Special Forces troops. The pics are from a military parade a few years back and show troops decked out in ballistic facemasks.

According to You’re Not Bulletproof, the masks are designed to protect wearers from close-range headshots and are apparently able to withstand a .44 Magnum. Keep in mind, even with the facemask, getting shot could break a nose, fracture a cheekbone, or knock the wearer unconscious. Then, as Slate points out, there’s the limited visibility, the breathing difficulties, and the added weight.

These masks sure are frightening though, and they make the wearers look like baddies.

まるでホラー「台湾の特殊部隊」のいかつさは異常 [DDN Japan via You’re Not Bulletproof]

Photos: You’re Not Bulletproof/阿瓜摄影/Hayabusa


  • Maybe if they were beating down my door I would be intimidated. but 25 yrs of video games has taught me to associate face masks like that with harmless generic cannon-fodder that has storm trooper accuracy at best.

    • And then reality hits you hard when you discover how difficult it is to get a no-scope headshot in real life :p

  • I highly doubt they’d wear them in action, they’d restrict your breathing, communication and vision too much. In countries that do them, these kinds of parades often show off silly things like this that look impressive but have no practical purpose.
    Still, it does bring back memories of “Citizen, pick up that can.”

    • Incorrect, while some may not enjoy using them proper masks have the capacity to stop upwards of a 44 magnum bullet. There are of course lightweight and heavy weight versions and while a direct hit between the eyes is likely to knock you out for a long time at least you wont be dead.

      • thats also hoping they dont double tap and finish off your knocked out body on the floor with a few rounds through those unarmored areas.
        either way scary lookin but i would prefer my peripheral vision that would give me those few milliseconds of reaction time

        • I’m no expert, but I was pretty sure the point of armour wasn’t invincibility as much as reducing the damage as much as you can. Preventing double-tap executions at close range is what you have squad-mates for. You go down, there should still be people working over your assailant. If you’re on your own… well. You’re on your own. Same goes with your periphery – basic minor squad tactics means everyone’s covering their corners.

          Dunno if you’ve ever seen footage of an actual firefight, or even, say… played paintball. But when people are moving around between cover or firing from it, every now and then a stray round will catch someone and they’ll go down. Sometimes people get shot in the weirdest places because no-one has perfect aim and not all of you is usually exposed. The head’s a vulnerable spot and covering it just sensible, even if it only works once.

          So yeah, they might not be ideal for lone-gunman-on-a-rampage purposes, but working in a cohesive unit? Life isn’t a video game. If you take a few stray rounds your vision doesn’t go red for a few seconds while you recover behind cover – knowing where the fire is coming from a few milliseconds early isn’t quite as important as surviving it if it contacts.

          • i have seen the US military with a similar face protection but it looks more like the lower face guard you would see on a motorbike helmet. still gives access for NVG and kept your peripheral vision.
            i agree you have team mates to back you up but with obscured vision if everyone has these on being able to see your teammate i think is more important.
            just what i think though, would like to get a soliders or police opinion on these

          • This is just a guess but I’d imaging they’d be for urban combat clearing rooms and such. As not everyone appears to be wearing them. I figure the first person through the door would be wearing them as extra protection for the at the most risk.

            I also imagine a large part of it is for psychological impact. Would make the user more confident even if it has limited practical vale and making as well as intimidating their opponents.

        • I know i was skeptical too untill i saw one in action on a tv show. This is from the website from the face mask page with videos and everything.

          “Level IIIA is the highest grade in soft body armor, and can resist 44 magnum bullets travelling at a speed of up to 1400 and 1450 fps, and also bullets with sub machine gun velocity.”


    • Given the high population density of Taiwan, I’d expect these to be used in urban settings mainly – breaching, high risk arrests, riot control, etc, as opposed to conventional warfare. In that scenario, they’d be usable.

      Gasmasks do the same thing – restrict breathing and vision, and both conventional and special forces troops wear them regularly.
      Run around with weapon, a few hundred rounds of ammunition on your body, a ballistic helmet and you’ll find that sweat and fogging also adds to your vision impairment (and general discomfort).
      Communications is nearly non existent, unless you have throat mics or specialised comms gear.

      Combat isn’t the light carefree experience both Hollywood and games would have you to believe.

  • That’s deliberate, if you chicken out and run away your commanding officer can shoot you in the back of the head. Face your enemy!

  • Ahh kids on the internet talking about real warfare/combat situation as If they know what its like to experience a real life or death firefight when their only experience is limited to COD/BF and paintball/air soft.
    Looking @ mandroid mostly.

    • Cast aspersions all you like – I really do not care, but at least back it up with some real life experience, instead being (yawn) yet another chairborne warrior with too many Andy McNab books under his bed.

      However, before you start telling us what you think you know, there are quite a number of ex military folk here on the forum, so if you’re a wannabe, you’ll find that you’ll get sorted and shamed real quick.
      Y’know, such as saying “life and death firefights”, as if they come in different varieties, perhaps “life and mildly offended firefights” ?
      For future reference, we just call them ‘firefights’ or a ‘contact’.

      I don’t have to justify myself nor my service to a pogue, so I’ll turn the question back around to you, given you are so keen to call out others, naturally under the guise of a guest account.

      What has your experience as an infantryman been like with equipment, and how did it fare under fire ? Because it all works perfectly, right ?

      • Even if you didn’t have any experience, nothing from your previous comment seemed out of line.. Especially considering Special forces are for.. Special ops.. Not full on firefights..

        I too can imagine walking through a door and getting headshot.. Though I can also imagine this working a lot less well than their testing would suggest.. But then i’d have no idea, i’ve only fired two guns in my life heh.

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